Breaking the Ice: Adam Hagerman

By Delaney Rigdon

Adam Hagerman has been on the ice playing hockey for as long as he can remember. Now a University of Georgia freshman and rookie Ice Dawg, the defenseman has remained committed to the sport he loves.

Both of Hagerman’s parents have had major impacts on his hockey career. However, it was his dad—an avid hockey fan himself—who encouraged him to pursue the sport.

“My dad has been the guy who has always pushed my brother and I to do our best. There were times where I wanted to quit, and he didn’t let me. I am grateful for it,” Hagerman said.

Despite its rocky start, Hagerman’s relationship with hockey has persevered throughout the years. His continued time and dedication to the sport paid off his sophomore year of high school when he was accepted into Indiana’s prestigious Culver Military Academy.

Though he may not have initially loved the game, Hagerman continued to play with the Thunder and Junior Preds AAA in the years leading up to his Culver career. The Cumming, Georgia native claims his time in Indiana not only enhanced his love for hockey—inspiring him to play at a higher level—but also taught him some valuable life skills.  

“Being at a boarding school for a while really helped me acclimate to balancing life with sports,” Hagerman said.

With his eyes set on playing hockey at the juniors level, attending university was not originally part of Hagerman’s post high school plans.

“My parents pretty much convinced me to apply [to college], and I did not really think anything of it,” he said. “It felt more like a backup plan because playing juniors was such a big deal for me.”

When it came time for him to make a college decision, Matt Bigda, Ice Dawg’s former team captain, vouched for UGA’s program and played a big role in Hagerman’s final decision to play at the club level. The two knew each other from hockey prior to Bigda’s stint in Athens.

“We talked about the community and the people around UGA hockey,” said Hagerman. “It was really cool to hear and opened my eyes to actually playing at a place that is not juniors. I can play at a club level and still play at a high level.”

Hagerman credits his teammates for creating an environment and culture that stands out from all of his former teams.

“It is such a good group of guys. No one is the same person. There are so many characters. When everyone really supports each other, it makes you want to support them,” he said.

Despite this being his first season with the team, Hagerman has wasted no time in setting goals for himself both on and off the ice. Outside the rink, he said he’s working on being the best teammate possible.

“I want to create a positive environment and help be a part of it, instead of just receiving it, because they’ve done so much for me, and so I’d like to give that back,” he said. 

On the ice, however, he wants to focus on his defensive game—striving to provide in the offensive zone by putting up points, while also defending to the best of his ability.

Looking ahead to postseason action, Hagerman is eager to contribute to the team’s success, the main goal ultimately being “to win nationals.”

With the rest of his collegiate hockey career ahead of him, he is excited to see the growth of the Ice Dawg program.

“It is fun to build this club and watch the progress.”



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